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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Flashback: On This Date, QPR Effectively Missed Out on The First Division Championship

April 17, 1976: Norwich 3 QPR 2: The day that QPR effectively lost out on the First Division Championship (although Wolves did their bit to deny QPR the Championship - by falling Liverpool at the very death - and of course in truth, every point is worth the same, whenever it's picked up during the season).
From Rothmans Football Yearbook " QPR lose at Norwich, and as Liverpool beat Stoke 5-3, they go to the top of Division One." Rothmans

QPR's Prime Team:
Clement Webb McLintock Gillard
Francis Masson Hollins
Thomas Bowles Givens - Leach

The Norwich defeat was QPR's first defeat since January 24 1976 when West Ham defeated QPR 1-0. From January 24, 1976 to April 24, 1976 QPR's record was: 13 Wins...1 Draw...and the 2-3 Norwich defeat on April 17, 1976)

From Norwich City FC Years

[NB: These were Norwich statistics in 1975-76: They finished 10th with W 16 D 10 L 16 GF 58-GA 58 42 points (2 points for win) - From Norwich City Years: "Norwich immediately established themselves as a first division outfit during the 1975 – 76 campaign as they enjoyed a fine season, finishing it off in tenth position. They reached the fifth round of the FA Cup, however suffered defeat against Bradford City. Kevin Keelan was in fine form for the club through out the campaign.
The 1976 – 1977 season saw Norwich struggle towards the end and managed to finish off in 16th position and a third round finish in the FA Cup." - Norwich City

John Hollins on that Norwich Loss - from an Interview with QPR Net
"...If I have to say we lost it then I would say we lost it at Norwich, I can remember one of their players, they used to call him Diesel, he used to run through brick walls that fella! He never scored all that many for them and he hit a shot which Parkes had covered but it came off Dave Clement’s back and flipped over him into the net. When they made it 3-1 it was miles offside too. Gerry pulled it back to 3-2 then we hit the bar. That one point would have got us through." QPR Net

Gerry Francis Said a couple of years ago:

Mirror/Aidan Magee - Monday, April 17, 2006 "FRANCIS WAITS 30 YEARS FOR REVENGE
"GERRY FRANCIS wants QPR to thrash Norwich today - to help him ease 30 years of pain. The former England skipper was a key part of the exciting Rangers side which narrowly missed out on the old First Division title in 1976.
And QPR all but blew their hopes on April 17 that year by losing 3-2 in a Carrow Road thriller - before being pipped by Liverpool shortly after.
Incredibly the two sides meet again today on the same pitch all these years later - but with little more than Championship pride to play for.
Rangers would probably have been the smallest club ever to be crowned league champions, in the end finishing just a point behind the Reds.
Dave Sexton's side was packed with glorious names from the Seventies like Francis, Frank McLintock, Phil Parkes, David Webb and Stan Bowles.
Francis said: "It's amazing that the fixture list has thrown this up exactly 30 years to the day, and at Carrow Road too.
"I remember the day well. It was a great match but it was destined not to go our way.
"It was our only defeat in the last 17 games of that season. We then beat Leeds and Arsenal to finish the season.
"Then Liverpool played at Wolves 10 days later needing a win. They were losing until 15 minutes from time and then they scored three.
"It was unfair because now all the teams would play concurrently on the final day, but Liverpool knew exactly what they had to do.
"They were great times, with great players and some great haircuts - in fact I've still got mine!" Mirror

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